After nearly 40 years in the same office, IBJ Media had the opportunity to move to a historic building overlooking the iconic Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis. CSO designed a space that features unique branding elements referencing the history of the printing industry while giving IBJ’s workplace a fresh new look.
Cursed with low ceilings and odd angles, the space presented challenges for space planning and capturing natural light. CSO’s interiors team focused on the positive – great views of Monument Circle and raw building materials that told the story of the building’s past. The designers embraced the odd building shape as an opportunity to carve out interesting spaces.
Upon entering the IBJ’s new offices, visitors are greeted by a custom art installation created from rolled up pieces of the IBJ’s past publications. Working closely with CSO, the artist took great care to highlight quirky references to Indiana, setting a sophisticated-but-fun tone from the very beginning. To the right, the reception desk sits in front of a black-on-black logo, representing raised printing press letters covered in black ink, a reference to the history of the profession.
Other creative decisions were guided by the mostly-linear layout of a newspaper and by the idea of the old meeting the new. As we sit at a crossroads between digital and printed news consumption, this new office tells a beautiful story of those things working in harmony with each other both in function and aesthetic.
The design features innovative spaces for experiential learning, including: flexible classrooms where local professionals teach workplace-style classes, centers staffed by organizations that involve students in research and outreach, and collaborative workspaces where students develop their own business in concert with experts from the region. The building represents Butler’s competitive distinction from its peer institutions by making activities and interaction immediately visible and central to students’ experience. The design provides visibility by creating transparent spaces that invite participation in central locations around the multi-story atrium at the heart of the building. In addition, the central, broad, open stairs and generous balconies encourage creative collisions as students, faculty, and visitors move and interact throughout the building.
The Innovation Commons, which opens onto the central atrium, is equipped for students to start and run their own businesses as well as a wide range of other types of experiential learning. The Centers, distributed around the main level, provide space where business professionals, faculty, and students work together to solve business challenges. Glass overhead doors open to connect to the atrium and convey the importance and vitality of that work to the school and its guests.
The Butler Business School is named in honor of Andre B. Lacy, a local, successful entrepreneur and philanthropist, as well as a committed family man and daring adventurer. CSO’s interior design studio honored his life with a series of installations that incorporate a collection of custom-designed icons representing his many facets. The icons appear throughout the building as design elements in areas such as the rug in the main atrium and small medallions that are hidden throughout the building. A timeline of his life takes the form of 25 envelopes, connecting his first job in a mailroom and the endowment gift, reminding students that their humble beginnings can build to something great. The design team also featured objects that were important to Lacy – the time clock Lacy once used to clock into his job and the motorcycle he rode across continents. These were both gifts from the family who were intimate collaborators on the project. The conference table in the board room adjacent to the Dean’s office features the Lacy family knot and is a duplication of a table that exists at Lacy’s corporate headquarters.
Located in a prominent place on the campus, visible from the east entrance, the building completes the cross axis of the original campus masterplan. The building’s vertical towers and active silhouette reflect the characteristics of the much-loved historic campus. The building replaces a parking lot and defines the intersection of the two major green spaces at the center of the campus. CSO completed this project in collaboration with Goody Clancy.
Clif Bar is a private company guided by Five Aspirations focused on sustaining their business, brands, people, community, and the planet. When they set out to design a renovation and expansion of their Indianapolis facility, it was crucial that their chosen design firm embraced a like-minded approach to incorporating biophilic design, renewable energy, repurposed materials, and locally-sourced materials. The two-story addition doubled the size of their office space while providing a work environment that is centered around the well-being of their employees. Not a single facet of the design was proposed without linking it back to direct evidence that such a feature would matter to the people who would inhabit the space.
Biophilic Design was crucial in creating an interior and exterior that would be an invigorating and comfortable environment for workers who spend long shifts indoors. Drawing on inspiration from the native Indiana geology, the building is clad in rough limestone detailed to express horizontal strata, and utilizes shading devices which draw upon the complexity and order of natural patterns, creating a soft play of light similar to that of a deciduous woodland.
These themes of prospect and refuge continue inside, offering dynamic double-height spaces in which to host all-hands meetings, as well as intimate nooks for private rest and respite. By express intention, every single employee has the same arrival experience and amenities. Bakery staff and office workers alike are intermixed in social spaces under skylights and at critical building zones. Given prominence due to the people it serves, the employee breakroom occupies the outer portion of the second floor. It is afforded sweeping view of the outdoors, and is uniquely branded to reflect the spirit and diversity of Clif Bar’s employees.
CSO’s design process was enhanced through workplace research data provided by DORIS Research as well as input on biophilic design features from Terrapin Bright Green, who has developed biophilic design strategies for other Clif Bar facilities.
Goodman Campbell Brain and Spine is a leading neurological healthcare provider. With a presence at major health institutions throughout the Indianapolis area, their newest office is their first stand-alone location. Seeing this as an opportunity to express their trusted brand through the use of space, they tapped long-time partner, CSO, for the job.
Upon entering the building, staff and clients are greeted with a 2-story dimensional wall and unique light sculpture, directly contrasting with an otherwise sleek and minimal lobby. It is immediately clear that this space is not a typical healthcare environment. Continuing into the first floor patient area, patients see a materiality not often associated with healthcare: diffused light art installations, clean white quartz, and black metal accents are paired with a textured carpet and wood accents to create a space that, despite its modernity, is warm and welcoming to all.
The exam area is laid out in an easy-to-navigate circular traffic pattern. As patients enter this area, they first see the checkout desk and its identifying feature: a stunning image of brain neurons which has been enlarged so much that the look could be mistaken for marble.
Upstairs, the reception area also sports a unique and beautiful installation. This time, a wood-and metal sculpture grabs your attention. It undulates against the wall, conjuring a spinal cord. Across the waiting room, patients can catch a glimpse of a companion piece: a spine-like light fixture hanging above a staff-only conference space.
Staff spaces are designed to the same standard as the patient-facing spaces. A social hub on each floor contains upscale casework and the warmth of a wood ceiling. The second floor social hub includes a dramatic upholstered bench. Both spaces provide respite from the staff’s naturally stressful jobs. Throughout, CSO’s interiors team focused on creating a space that felt curated and filled with art, similar to how staff and patients might curate their own art collections at home. By making a space that feels both forward-thinking and welcoming, CSO’s interiors team was able to express Goodman Campbell’s own approach to healthcare.
Recognizing that an up-to-date work environment would be a tool to help them enhance their culture and attract top talent, LDI hired CSO to guide them through a cultural shift to energize the office. Their goal was to provide an environment that facilitates interaction, collaboration, and the use of technology.
The interior design team at CSO led visioning sessions to determine the project’s guiding principles and interviewed representatives from each department to determine staff, work-flow needs, growth, and goals.
The interior design and corporate branding pay tribute to the rich heritage of the company in subtle ways such as the incorporation of the “Lacy Knot” in the pattern of a suspended ceiling and a custom conference table. Additionally, the design includes a new staircase to connect their two floors of office space. The stair features custom sculptural details to pay homage to the company’s history in the corrugated paper industry and milestone dates. There are a multitude of details that the design team was able to incorporate into the final design through careful research, in-depth visioning, and interview sessions with the client.